Thursday, October 30, 2014

Scars. everything sad isn't coming untrue

I have been listening to the Jason Gray album, “Love will have the final word” constantly since my return from the coast on October 7th. All these songs have been speaking directly to my heart. Lyrics have become my prayers.  

Song #1: Tell me of the hope that you know is true, ever feels like a lie from a friend, when the world’s all salt in an open wound, and they just can’t seem to understand, that you haven’t even stopped the bleeding yet. I know someday, I know somehow, I’ll be okay, but not right now, no not right now…   -Not right now

Song #2: I have no choice but to cry out for You, Please help, cause I’m helpless now. You hear my prayer when my whole world comes unglued, I know you can fix it, but I don’t know how, I don’t know how…     -I don’t know how

Song #3: It goes out to you when there’s nothing more that you can do, It goes out to you when everything sad isn’t coming untrue and every dream you chased got away from you. There’s never been a night so long, there’s never been a life too far gone. When you come to the end, you can begin again…It’s never too late for a new start, If you give God the pieces of your broken heart, when you come to the end, you can begin again…    -Begin again

Song #4: Do you feel the pain of every blow that knocked you down? Or do you bear the shame of every wound you handed out? No matter what you gave or what you received, if you were left or the one to leave, even though it’s hard to hope again, this is not the bitter end… Even this will be made beautiful, even this will be made beautiful. Scatter the ashes on the wind, everything will be born again, In His time, in His hands, beautiful, beautiful…  -Even this will be made beautiful

I know I’ll be okay but now right now and I don’t know how but one day I will be able to begin again but the bleeding hasn’t even stopped yet.  I wake up every morning, I sew, I move to the kitchen to bake something hoping to escape reality when I realize over and over and over a thousand times each day that everything sad isn’t coming untrue. How does one deal? Let the wound heal, don’t apply salt and in time, even this, even this, will be made beautiful.

Scars. We all have them. Physical, emotional, tender, obvious, almost gone, hidden scares. I bare three physical ones.

One is between my knuckles on my left hand. I was making ugali bent over the jiko in the kitchen of my home in the village. The associate pastor was there like he was every night doing dishes as I used every ounce of energy to stir the flour ball into the perfect consistency to enjoy. I felt the spat of boiling flour hit my hand but I was too busy to wipe it off. The longer it sat the deeper the wound became. The next morning it was huge and when it finally popped a few days later my co-teacher insisted on using warm salt water to clean it out. Even though I totally cried each time she cleaned it I now look at that scar and remember cooking over the jiko, I remember how much my co-teacher loved me and cares for me to want to heal the burn in the way she knew how. I look at the scar and don’t feel the pain of the burn anymore. I see love.

Another one is on my right arm. In August I traveled with 8 of my village brothers and sisters to the wedding of our associate pastor about 14 hours away. Traveling Kenyan style is definitely different (a lot cheaper) but a lot longer and more interesting than traveling western style, let me tell you! We went to Mombasa and were walking around waiting for our bus when I felt something under my skin. Some sort of creature had decided under my arm skin was where he wanted to make home. It wasn’t until 3 days later when we were back home in the village that I found a sharp enough knife to dig it out (and he was still alive!). However, from the digging I have a forever scar that reminds me of time. Kenyans in a village view time completely different than I have ever known it. Time allows for laughter, for conversations, for travel, and for the deepening of relationships that I never thought I would get to experience in another culture.

My third physical scar is on my right knee. It happened while I was walking down (and I mean down) a dirt road the day after I returned from the coast this last time. My brain and my body were not in sync (for obvious reasons) and walking became something I had to think about and I stopped for a second and down I went. By the time we made it to the store I had blood coming down my leg. I took care using an antibiotic cream (instead of warm salt water!) but a tiny scar remains, reminding me of grieving, of goodbyes, of what it feels like to be so disconnected from this world you don’t even know how to walk. But Jesus conquered this world through His death and He rose, giving us hope even in these hard situations. Even this will be made beautiful.

And I haven’t even mentioned all the physical and emotional scars that are on the inside. Those seem to take longer to heal and seem to hurt a whole lot more. But as Jesus does the healing, (and He is working over time these days!) I know that one day I will be able to see something beautiful out of them. I will be able to see how God used this to teach my village community something about Himself and see why He chose to end my time at the coast after completing 13 months because He had another assignment for me to complete. I see that, as the bleeding is beginning to stop which sometimes means you can feel the cut more deeply, I know that that pain means healing is in the works. Something new has to grow but there will forever be scars on my heart to remember just how amazing my relationships, my ministry, my life was there for that time.

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